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Richard McGough
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scblhrm wrote: Axiom. Yes, scientific theories are designed to explain a broad body of diverse facts based on a small set of axioms and primitive concepts. E.g. Newtonian mechanics is based on the primitive concepts of Euclidean spacetime and point particles with mass, and three axiomatic laws of motion. Likewise, my moral theory is based on two primitive concepts (Self and Love) and two axioms 1) Self loves self 2) Moral Symmetry (Golden Rule) I contend that my theory explains all moral facts. I explain this in this article. http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/25/the-logic-of-love-a-natural-theory-of-morality/
In regress we find that “supposed-to” is, in moral semantics, simply that which the Self sets as its own goals. Should the Self want to be King, then, morally speaking, it is “supposed-to” dominate, and, should the Self want to be nurturing, then, morally speaking, it is “supposed-to” be nurturing. Your assertion is false. In as much as domination is unfair and unjust, it violates the axiom of Moral Symmetry and so is immoral according to my theory.
scbrownlhrm wrote: Yes, Normative, as per your definition, houses this: "....given specified conditions...." Such as, say, the Culture which has developed to sacrifice children, there in those "specified conditions" all the reasonable people quite reasonably agree that such is the best course of action. Those are not "my" definitions. Those are the definitions given in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. And your caricature of them reveals that you are utterly incapable of understanding basic English. You have read them to mean exactly the opposite of what the professional peer reviewed philosophers intend them to me. You are utterly irrational.
scbrownlhrm wrote: If you cannot provide a mechanistic construct to choose between the goal of domination and the goal of love, then I fail to see how your descriptive theory is helpful in understanding reality in any way at all. My there is NORMATIVE, not "descriptive". I already explained this to you. There is no excuse for your continued error. Here is what you wrote yesterday: Normative? So, do I read you right: you are now leaving the organism's goals and regressing instead to Cultural Norms? Do I read you right? And here is how I responded: No, you read it exactly backwards, and in doing so you revealed your fundamental ignorance of the most basic definitions used in moral philosophy. Descriptive morality is defined by cultural norms and is contrasted with normative morality which is based on universal rational principles. Here are the definitions given in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The term “morality” can be used either 1) descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, a) some other group, such as a religion, or b)accepted by an individual for her own behavior or 2) normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. What “morality” is taken to refer to plays a crucial, although often unacknowledged, role in formulating ethical theories. To take “morality” to refer to an actually existing code of conduct put forward by a society results in a denial that there is a universal morality, one that applies to all human beings. This descriptive use of “morality”is the one used by anthropologists when they report on the morality of the societies that they study. Recently, some comparative and evolutionary psychologists (Haidt, Hauser, De Waal) have taken morality, or a close anticipation of it, to be present among groups of non-human animals, primarily other primates but not limited to them. “Morality” has also been taken to refer to any code of conduct that a person or group takes as most important. This appears to be why you are so confused. You don't understand the most basic terms used in moral philosophy. And worse, you now have demonstrated that you are literally incorrigible because you refuse to learn even when the facts have been repeatedly explained to you.
scbrownlhrm wrote Perhaps tomorrow RM you can tell us why we should love. I answered this question and you ignored my answer, and now you ask the same question again. I thought you were just idiotically dense, but now I am beginning to think that there is a method to your madness, that this is your strategy designed to confuse. You pretend to be confused about the meaning of my theory to create the false impression that it is my theory that is confused. Your tactics are intellectually and morally perverse. It is not surprising to find them used so freely here on a Christian forum. Here again is the answer I already gave. I present it for the benefit of others since you have demonstrated you have no interest in rational discourse and that you despise the truth. This appears to be the root of your confusion. Love is not something that you "should" do in the sense of fulfilling a moral duty or command. In your scenario, it is the "moral duty" that supplies the motive force that is supposed to cause you to act as if you "loved" when in fact you may be hating the person. That's the confusion wrought by Christianity. My theory replaces moral duty with love itself. Love is the motivation to love others. Love is an end in itself. Moral "duty" is not an end in itself. It is not based in fundamental ontology of being. Love is the root of all. SELF LOVE is the motive power of all morality. It is ludicrous to ask "why should I love myself." That is the the first axiom of my theory - self loves self. You would have known this if you have read my article. But that's ok - i don't mind repeating myself. My moral theory is a scientific theory based on the scientific definition of objectivity. It is an axiomatic theory based on two fundamental axioms and two primitive concepts. This follows the pattern of scientific theories such as Newtonian mechanics, quantum physics, and relativity. You really should read my article if you want to refute it. As it is, you are just shooting in the dark
scbrownlhrm wrote Now, if and when your theory comes up against the real world, with these real powering-fuels within the Self, is it at this point which you resort to blind axiom to assert "pick love, not domination" and is it the case that you want us to believe that this blind axiom is biologically based, in real things within real organisms, and just inexplicably takes all the domination "stuff" and just sweeps it under the rug, leaving the love "stuff" there on top without equally qualified, equally present, fuels? Your comments indicate a total, absolute, willful, blind ignorance of the purpose of a normative theory of morality. The purpose of such a theory is to explain moral facts in terms of a small set of axiomatic principles and primitive concepts. I do not "resort" to "blind axiom" when examining real world cases. Your comments are utterly incoherent, ignorant, and absurd. They have nothing to do with my theory at all.
It's not that I mind this new regress even further back into the machine, but, as it's a new one, I don't really know what you are getting at. Can you explain? Your tactics are intellectually and morally perverse. You have been inventing "moral regresses" of your own that have nothing to do with anything I have written, and then you falsely assert that I am constantly changing my regress when in fact I have not changed anything at all. I have consistently grounded morality in self love and the principle of moral symmetry (Golden Rule).
It seems you mean to find the most frequent, highest Hz appetite and base all of morality on whatever that may turn out to be, and, to change that base when it, over time, shifts. Do I read you correctly? What are you babbling about? I have not written a word about any "frequencies". I have explained the two fundamental axioms and two primitive concepts that are the foundation of my theory. You have shown no understanding of any kind. You didn't even know the freaking definition of a normative moral theory! And yet you continue spewing your random confusion? Whatever. It's late. Good night. I'll check tomorrow to see if there are any relevant comments in this thread.
RM, You are again describing what is, and telling me that that is your source of supposed-to. You seem to want to tweek it by claiming the most frequent (highest Hz) appetite is the bedrock of morality. That is fine, but that is what I hear you saying. Am I mistaken? In the words of Wolfgan Pauli, "you are not even wrong." (Which means you are so far off track that your comments are not even worth correcting). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong
Is that about it? If you are not interested in rational discourse, why are you commenting?
So every human is aiming at the same goal? I'd be happy to pursue more of your rabbit trails after you write something that indicates you understand the meaning of a normative moral theory (which is what I am proposing).
Normative? So, do I read you right: you are now leaving the organism's goals and regressing instead to Cultural Norms? Do I read you right? No, you read it exactly backwards, and in doing so you revealed your fundamental ignorance of the most basic definitions used in moral philosophy. Descriptive morality is defined by cultural norms and is contrasted with normative morality which is based on universal rational principles. Here are the definitions given in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: The term “morality” can be used either 1) descriptively to refer to some codes of conduct put forward by a society or, a) some other group, such as a religion, or b)accepted by an individual for her own behavior or 2) normatively to refer to a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons. What “morality” is taken to refer to plays a crucial, although often unacknowledged, role in formulating ethical theories. To take “morality” to refer to an actually existing code of conduct put forward by a society results in a denial that there is a universal morality, one that applies to all human beings. This descriptive use of “morality”is the one used by anthropologists when they report on the morality of the societies that they study. Recently, some comparative and evolutionary psychologists (Haidt, Hauser, De Waal) have taken morality, or a close anticipation of it, to be present among groups of non-human animals, primarily other primates but not limited to them. “Morality” has also been taken to refer to any code of conduct that a person or group takes as most important. This appears to be why you are so confused. You don't understand the most basic terms used in moral philosophy.
Well, we were here at this end of regress about 30 posts ago, RM. No need for the circle. Yes, you returned to where you began - in utter ignorance of the most basic elements of the normative moral theory that I have presented.
I should love. Why? This appears to be the root of your confusion. Love is not something that you "should" do in the sense of fulfilling a moral duty or command. In your scenario, it is the "moral duty" that supplies the motive force that is supposed to cause you to act as if you "loved" when in fact you may be hating the person. That's the confusion wrought by Christianity. My theory replaces moral duty with love itself. Love is the motivation to love others. Love is an end in itself. Moral "duty" is not an end in itself. It is not based in fundamental ontology of being. Love is the root of all. SELF LOVE is the motive power of all morality. It is ludicrous to ask "why should I love myself." That is the the first axiom of my theory - self loves self. You would have known this if you have read my article. But that's ok - i don't mind repeating myself. My moral theory is a scientific theory based on the scientific definition of objectivity. It is an axiomatic theory based on two fundamental axioms and two primitive concepts. This follows the pattern of scientific theories such as Newtonian mechanics, quantum physics, and relativity. You really should read my article if you want to refute it. As it is, you are just shooting in the dark
I get Self Love and Loving Others. We should. I know why on Christ's terms. But you haven't told me why I should on your terms, other than that we should. Then you said organisms that want to, should do. Can you explain? Yes, I would be happy to explain it again. Self love is not something that a person "should" do in a moral sense. It is what any rational, healthy, and whole person does do. The question of morality relates to how self relates to others, and that is given in the Golden Rule. But why should a person be fair, you ask? Because fair is an essential aspect of what it means to be moral, and moral defines what a person "should" do. It's really not that complicated. Now you say that you "know why on Christ's terms". Oh really? Please explain that to me. How does "Christ's terms" explain anything? I really would like to know. Thanks!
I quoted your sentence. Perhaps you can explain the organism who wants to, should do, and so on. It's your statement, and it seems I've read you correctly. Perhaps you can explain? I would find that helpful at this point. You quoted my sentence which used words that you introduced in your effort to force my theory to fit your false presupposition of "is/ought" based on the fallacious concept of moral duty. Now you want me to explain why an organism "should" do anything? There is no explanation in any moral system if you don't state the goal of the organism. If do not want to starve, you "should" eat. If you want to do what is right then you "should" do what is right. I get the impression you think that "should" has some other meaning. Maybe you "should" explain what you think it means if you want this discussion to progress.
RM, this is your theory, and this thread is about an atheist's end of regress. You are describing appetites, and equating the descriptive-of-want to the prescriptive-of-should, a hollow sort of should, but a should nonetheless (the only kind of should atheism can account for). This isn't as hard as you are making it. Do you prefer a different regress? That is NOT my regress. I have repeatedly explained that the root of morality is in the INTEGRITY OF SELF. It is in Self Love which is what any rational being feels for its own self. You simply are not dealing with anything I have written.
You are describing appetites, and equating the descriptive-of-want to the prescriptive-of-should, a hollow sort of should, but a should nonetheless (the only kind of should atheism can account for). I am doing no such thing. You don't have a clue what my theory entails. You have not quoted a word from the articles I wrote. You are just trying to force it into your Procrustean Bed. It has nothing to do with the silly "is/ought" confusion caused by the false presumption that morality is "duty". That's the root of your confusion. And you apparently have no concept of what a normative moral theory entails.
scbrownlhrm wrote: This thread is about Atheism's end of moral regress. And that's what I talked about on the first page of comments. Here is what I said: The fundamental premise of the article is false. Atheism does not entail nihilism or even materialism. Buddhists have been atheists for thousands of years. Atheists can be as "spiritual" as anyone. Atheism implies nothing but a rejection of a theistic style god who is an agent that goes about pretending not to exist. The most grievous error in the article is the assertion that there could be no objective morality without a God. That is entirely false. Morality is objective, like a pair of scales. Google that phrase if you want to see why. Now you have expressed confusion about why I brought up William Lane Craig. The errors in the article are based on his arguments. Specifically, the article claimed there would be no morality without God. This is Craig's argument, and it is fundamentally fallacious. I have explained why in these three articles: http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/11/the-golden-rule-and-the-foundation-of-objective-morality/ http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2013/12/22/morality-is-objective-like-a-pair-of-scales-another-fatal-flaw-in-dr-craigs-moral-argument-for-god/ http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2013/01/18/why-animals-are-not-moral-agents-fatal-flaws-in-dr-craigs-moral-argument-for-god/
Organisms which want = supposed Don't want = not supposed Do I read you correctly here in that your final regress is: [Want] = [Ought] You are trying to force my theory into your Procrustean Bed. My theory has nothing to do with the old is/ought confusion. If you want to critique my theory you will have to quote something I wrote about it.
scbrownlhrm wrote: Supposed to? Why? I know why we're supposed to in the context of Immutable Love, but I don't know why we are supposed to on the terms of your theory. You refuse to say. Ah ... I had to read that a quite a few times to understand what you were getting at. It appears you are assuming that there would be no reason for anyone to care for themselves or others outside of the "context of Immutable Love". I have no idea what you think you mean by the "context of Immutable Love" since that has no objective meaning. It sounds like some sort of New Age mystical religious mumbo jumbo with no referent in reality. My theory is based on objective reality. Organisms that want to survive are "supposed to" take care of themselves. This does not imply any "duty" to some "authority figure". If you don't want to be sane, rational, happy, whole or anything like that, then whose to stop you? The same goes for any moral theory. No "god" makes any difference on this count. Please explain what you mean by the "context of Immutable Love" and how a person is supposed to know anything about this "Immutable Love" and why it would give a reason a person is "supposed to" do anything.
scbrownlhrm wrote: You foist Life as the Prescriber, but I see, in the real world, Happiness as a far more common, and powerful, Prescriber. I "foist" nothing but logic and facts, of which you have apparently chosen to remain ignorant. I can't do anything about that. It appears you have no concept of moral philosophy or the meaning of a normative theory of morality (which is what I am presenting). Here is the definition from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy: Normative morality refers to "a code of conduct that, given specified conditions, would be put forward by all rational persons." http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/morality-definition/
scblhrm wrote: You seem unable to embrace and include the real world in your formulas. Your comment is absurd. My theory is based fundamentally on "real world" moral facts. Your comment indicates nothing but your ignorance of my theory. If you want to challenge my theory you need to at least read it so you know what it says. Here again is the link to my main exposition: http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/25/the-logic-of-love-a-natural-theory-of-morality/
scblhrm wrote When you say "supposed to", do you base that on "people do" equals "people should" as an objective identity claim? No. Your question appears to be a confused attempt to confuse the issue by introducing a confusion based on the old "is/ought" confusion. Such confusion plays no role in my moral theory.
scbrownlhrm wrote: Okay, I'll just take your word that you know how I should live. Why should I clothe and feed myself? Is life valuable? Not everyone agrees. I am not asking you to "take my word" for anything. I have presented a normative theory of morality based on the scientific definition of objectivity. I ask only that you evaluate it to determine if it is true or not. The truth of a scientific theory does not depend on whether people "agree" or not. It depends on whether the theory accounts for the facts. If not, the theory should be rejected. So what are the facts my theory explains? Moral facts. What are moral facts? Moral statements that are true. Are there moral facts? Not everyone agrees. Does this mean that Christians should reject the Moral Argument for God? Yes, if they think they can reject my theory by denying the existence of moral facts. But then they are left in a wasteland of moral relativity which contradicts the essence of their faith. Therefore, let us begin with the assumption that moral facts exist. Can they be known? William Lane Craig says yes, they can be known. And not only that, he asserts that everyone - theists and atheists alike - can discern what is actually moral or immoral without any reference to God. How then can God be the foundation of objective morality? Craig answers by driving a wedge between moral epistemology and moral ontology, and asserts that even though the atheist could determine what is immoral without God, it would not "really" be immoral without God. His argument is absurd and incoherent. It destroys the integrity of moral epistemology and moral ontology. I discuss this specific error in this article called The Golden Rule and the Foundation of Objective Morality. http://www.biblewheel.com/blog/index.php/2012/10/11/the-golden-rule-and-the-foundation-of-objective-morality/